Near fine condition.Faber and Faber,1991.First edition-first printing.Black hardback(gilt lettering to the spine,small nick on the edge of the spine) with Dj(small mark,some nicks and scratches on the Dj cover),both in near fine condition.Nice and clean pages but slightly yellow on the edges,light shelf wear on the Dj cover.276pp.Price un-clipped. This is another paragraph From Publishers Weekly: In 1830, as the end of the world approaches, the charismatic, hunchbacked prophet of a religious sect settled in Lancashire heeds the biblical injunction and chooses seven virgins for comfort and succor. Basing her novel on the life of the real John Wroe, a leader of a group called the Christian Israelite church, Rogers (The Promised Land) crafts an impeccable narrative, interweaving the diverse mindsets of some of the chosen women and the prophet during nine months of complex interaction. Part morality tale, part history, packed with accurate details of early 19th-century life, the stories of Leah, Joanna, Hannah and Martha unfold as they cope with the hypocrisy, blind beliefs and idealism of the sexually threatening prophet. Three of the women have joined the sect out of sheer desperation, and Rogers superbly conveys the precarious economic situation for acolytes of this era. Leah, an unscrupulous street-smart beauty, is looking for security for herself and her hidden baby, and aims to marry Wroe. Hannah, a skeptical, independent-minded orphan whose father was active in political causes, has been donated to the prophet against her will by relatives dismissing their obligation to support her. Martha, grossly abused by her father, is scarcely able to talk, and acts more like a clumsy animal than a woman. Joanna alone truly has faith in the prophet. Told with humor, irony and a generosity that embraces even the sinister Wroe, this is a compelling story of astonishing depth, elucidating religious idealism, the beginnings of socialism and the ubiquitous position of women as unpaid laborers. Simple, exact prose catches the vernacular flavor of the period and the prismatic personalities of the characters as they lay themselves bare to the sins of the flesh, the tricks of religious pretense and society's stifling order. Rogers is a vivid and intelligent writer whose work deserves a wide audience here.